View from the Pew by chris_sanchez
We See the Duck We Want to See
December 23, 2013 01:17 PM | 14128 views | 0 0 comments | 1144 1144 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Rejection of Medicaid Expansion Not an Evil Act
by chris_sanchez
September 05, 2012 01:11 PM | 810 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Last week Gov. Deal made official his position on the expansion of Medicaid in Georgia under the Affordable Care Act referred to by opponents as Obamacare.  As soon as the news cycle with Deal’s position was complete, the spin began and oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth!  Seniors and children are going to be thrown in the streets.  Diabetics will lose limbs.  Hospitals will be forced to close their doors.  And on and on.  All because of the supposed evil being perpetrated upon the citizens of Georgia. 

So how is it that Congress can pass such a sweeping law and Gov. Deal simply decides that Georgia would not participate you might ask?  Simply put: the Supreme Court of the United States said he could.  In the ruling earlier this year upholding the Affordable Care Act based on the Congress’ taxation powers, Chief Justice John Roberts also said the federal government can offer more funding to states for the purpose of expanding Medicaid but could not punish states that opt not to participate in the program by withholding existing funds (see page 5 of the ACA ruling).  Georgia joins a growing list of states that have already announced they too will not participate in this expansion of Medicaid due to budget concerns. 

Governing is about making choices and Gov. Deal is doing what he believes is best for our state as a whole.  If you have been caught up in the hype, relax.  Nothing has changed and no, the sky is not falling.  The same programs that have been there for decades remain in place.  Nobody is being thrown out in the streets.  However, about 1 in 5 Georgians will remain without health insurance.  This fact remains regardless of the spin coming from those who support the governor’s decision.

What kind of people are these?  What of their compassion for the poor and underprivileged among us?  What indeed!  Let me ask a question: why are we counting on government to assist the needy among us?  Do you know how many charitable organizations there are in Cobb and Cherokee Counties that are trying to fill that gap?  Don’t take my word for it (go check for yourself) but I can tell you that are a lot of them.  Good men and women with the courage of their convictions trying to make a difference. 

Now, let me take this a step closer to home.  How many in our pews are giving to charity?  I’m not just talking about your church either.  When was the last time you supported one of the fantastic charities here in Cobb and/or Cherokee County?  Cobb Pregnancy Services, Tommy Nobis Center, The HopeQuest Ministry Group, and MUST Ministries (Cobb & Cherokee) to name only a few all need financial assistance.  Here’s the kicker: they need volunteers too!

Well, I am calling out my fellow Christians on this one.  When was the last time you volunteered to serve others in your community?  Again, I’m not just talking about your local church though I will say far too many congregations are inward focused rather than focused on reaching the community with the Good News (in my opinion).  I am talking about us individually.  Writing checks is goo but giving a few hours a month is better!  Regardless of what you may think of Gov. Deal’s decision, people of faith can make a difference in the lives of those among us in need.  That is, if we are willing to do so.  Are you?

About Christopher:

Christopher is a recent graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA Finance and BS Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.

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Lance Armstrong – So What’s the Problem?
by chris_sanchez
August 27, 2012 10:16 AM | 4792 views | 7 7 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Unless you have been under a rock this past weekend, you know about the passing of Neil Armstrong (see my blog for a brief post on that topic) and that Lance Armstrong has been banned from cycling for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after announcing he would no longer fight the USADA’s charges of doping.  In the grand scheme of things, the accomplishments of Lance pale in comparison to those of Neil in my opinion.  Still, there is something about the situation with Lance that is bothering me.

You see, we Americans value fairness.  I have told my children time and time again that fairness ended in the Garden of Eden but that is blog for another time.  In the case against Lance Armstrong though, the cyclist rightly points to his history of drug testing in his sport.  Hundreds of drug tests performed and not once has Lance failed one of those tests.  Not once!  Here is where my problem begins.  You see, the USADA claims to have many witnesses prepared to testify that Lance used performance enhancing drugs, blood transfusions, etc. to fuel his wildly successful cycling career.  When the government says they have witnesses then the case must be iron-clad, right?  (Insert snarky laugh here)

Well, here’s my problem.  You see, if Lance had failed a single drug test this discussion would be very different indeed.  Now suppose Lance had failed a test in a competitive event and produced a dozen witnesses who would testify that Lance at no time used any of the previously mentioned methods (or any other for that matter) during the race and they could fully document that Lance was in their presence the entire time.  Guess what?  It wouldn’t matter!  Why?  Because of the failed drug test that’s why.  Do you see my problem yet?  No?  Let me explain.

USADA has rigged their system allowing them to have it both ways.  Heads you fail a drug test and we’ve got you or tails we have people to testify against you and we get to ignore the test results.  See the double standard?  The bottom-line is this: they can’t have it both ways.  Period.  This is the lack of fairness that I am talking about here and it simply rubs me the wrong way. 

I am not a big fan of cycling though like so many people around the world I have found Lance Armstrong’s story compelling over the years.  Many in the media claim Lance’s refusal to continue to fight the charges constitutes an admission of guilt.  Perhaps their statements have some merit.  Perhaps not. 

I don’t know if Lance Armstrong is guilty of doping but I know unfairness when I see it. If he is guilty of doping, Lance would do well to consider Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  All the good works of his foundation, his illustrious cycling career, and all the rest are for naught without Christ.

About Christopher:

Christopher is a recent graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA Finance and BS Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

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me30
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August 30, 2012
@sjposton: "I "believe" he is guilty based on the minimal evidence that is out there and his behavior"...I thought we were innocent until proven guilty? And since when did "believing" anything make it logical? Funny how you are telling someone else to be logical and use critical thinking when I don't see you doing much of either yourself. Just saying...

Immigration Law in Georgia
by chris_sanchez
August 22, 2012 11:45 AM | 2119 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Yesterday in a 33 page opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its ruling on Georgia’s so-called “show-me-your-papers” law. In a decision consistent with the recent ruling from the Supreme Court, this decision upheld the portion of the state law allowing law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of persons being detained for other possible crimes. It is a shame that such a question need even be decided in our courts.

If a person is involved in a crime and also happens to be in the United States illegally, why on earth is there even a question about making such a determination? Of course it is appropriate to be sure someone suspected of another crime is in our country legally. Supporters and detractors of the law have both claimed victory and are now trying to put the decision of the court in the best light in terms of their position. The spin will continue as will the litigation.

The irony about the decision is found in footnote twelve on page 31. The court states, “It is inappropriate for us to assume that the state will disregard its own law, and we therefore reject the argument in this respect, keeping in mind that unconstitutional application of the statute could be challenged in later litigation.” The reason states around the country have begun enacting their own law in this area is because the federal government has done exactly this: disregarding existing law. Time and again state legislatures have stated the reason for enacting their own laws is the lack of enforcement at the federal level.

My interest in this legal jostling is in section seven which the court enjoined. In my view, churches and Christian charities have a great deal to be pleased with this section being placed on hold. Regardless of the immigration status of individuals, many end up seeking assistance from the many churches and charities in our area. Churches and charities have no way of knowing is someone is in the United States legally or if they have been involved in criminal acts prior to seeking charity from one of these organizations.

While seeking to honor our faith by assisting the poor and needy among us, the last thing churches and charities ought to be concerned about is whether or not helping this person or that family may be illegal.

I applaud the Georgia legislature and Governor Deal for their willingness to tackle tough issues but this approach to the controversial issue of illegal immigration in Georgia will not improve the situation here or anywhere else in the country. If someone is in need of food or clothing, they should be fed and clothed. Criminalizing charity based on the immigration status of the people receiving such assistance is simply wrong.

About Christopher:

Christopher is a recent graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds a MBA Finance and BS in Business Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.

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